Across Regions, Breeding, News January 2023, North America, Varieties

‘Johnny Potato Seed’: This farmer wants you to grow a new potato strain

Also known as ‘Johnny Potato Seed‘, this small farmer turned a plot of land in Wisconsin into the epicenter of an international potato breeding movement, writes Bevin Cohen in a news article for Modern Farmer.

At 30 years old, Curzio Caravati moved to the United States from Switzerland, settling into the lakeside town of Kenosha, WI, where he purchased two acres of land and began filling it with crops. It was 1995, and Caravati raised all sorts of produce, though he focused mainly on potatoes. Now, nearly three decades later, his small plot of land has become the nucleus of a worldwide potato breeding movement. 

Caravati founded the Kenosha Potato Project (KPP) in 2007. Although first intended as a simple Facebook group to share his efforts on growing potatoes in containers, KPP quickly grew into an online community of thousands of both novice and experienced potato growers from around the world. At the center of this quickly growing community is the humble potato berry.

The seeds found inside of the potato berry, also known as True Potato Seed (TPS) or botanical seed, could be the key to developing new potato varieties that not only survive in our changing climate but even thrive in it.

Source: Modern Farmer. Read the full story here
Photo: Curzio Caravati with home-grown potatoes. Credit and courtesy Curzio Caravati via Modern Farmer.

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